this winter. They starved. I have two left and I think they are going to be ok. I have fed them with 2:1 sugar water.
I would like to know if I can and should order any more bees to replace what I lost. Can I get more than just a 3 lb package? I have buckfast bees and so far, they have been awesome to deal with. I haven't called Weaver yet, thought I'd come to the boards first.
If I do get more bees, should I just clean the other hives of dead bees, leaving the comb, and install them? Would that be okay?
I am going into my 2nd year of beekeeping with little sucess. Seems I'm only learning by my mistakes...
As far as salvaging the workings of the hives that starved out, I would freeze the combs to kill any wax moths in there. As I am sure you know, they need to be protected until you can get bees in them to take care of them.
I agree with Waya. Freeze the combs, or if it's winter there, they already froze. Mine have.
I'd clean the hive roughly. Dump the dead bees, scrape the bottom board clean. Shake off the dead bees you can. Some with their heads in the cells are not easy to get out. Try a vaccum. If it doesn't work, just leave them. The next bees will clean them out.
3 pounds is the biggest package and any more is just a waste. I've done pretty will with 2 pound packages, but I prefer the 3s just because the post office often kills alot of them.
Well, Weaver is sold out of package bees. I guess I'm out of luck this year..unless anyone knows where I can get any other Buckfast bees.
Would it be wrong to have other bee races in the yard with what I have now if I can't get Buckfast bees?
I have quite a variety of races of bees. I don't see a problem with it.
But if you want Buckfasts, you can buy a package of anything and requeen later, like in the fall, with a Buckfast.
Drapers is probably closer to you than Weaver and has Buckfasts. They may be sold out as well, I don't know.
Hi Ruby if you've still got 2 hives and they look pretty good instead of buying packages you could just order queens and divide your hives or just divide 1 hive.That way instead of paying for a package and postage you could buy a few queens and some feed an get that empty equipment in use again.You could also( when its warmer out) just put the empty equipment on top of your good hives and let those bees clean it out.Take care and good luck
Nobodys said it but you should be certain that there was no disease involved, before you reuse the equipment. Have an experienced person check them? Perhaps send some samples to beltsville?
Oh..no doubt in my mind they starved. Every single bee in the hive were head first, buried into their cells. So sad
One hive that was particularly weak all last summer was one of them. They also had a very moist, almost mildew-like bottom board. I think the odds were against them.
I just ordered a package of Italians for sometime in April. Wish me luck!